- Legal States
Kyamil Nasuf December 5, 2022 3 min read
North Dakota Tribes Sign Sports Betting Compact
Gambling in North Dakota was on the cusp of a revolution last month. However, with proposals to expand it beyond tribal lands being rejected, the changes are somewhat limited comparatively.
Tribes Ink Gambling Deal, Expand Offerings
Governor Doug Burgum signed multiple 10-year gambling compacts with Native Indian tribes in North Dakota. These compacts will see iGaming and online sports gambling legalized on tribal territories. Additionally, the minimum age requirement for gambling in tribal casinos was lowered to 19, previously 21, and now gamblers on tribal reservations will be allowed to use both credit and debit cards to place their bets. Final approval by the US Department of the Interior is still needed.
Compacts are legal agreements between the tribes and the state, and the latest deal signed in North Dakota means that, as it currently stands, tribes are currently the only operators to offer iGaming and mobile sports betting, since they aren’t yet introduced in any capacity in the state. While it’s unclear how or when this could change for North Dakota, the signed compacts are still a step in the direction of expanding gambling there.
Five tribal representatives were present at the signing, and all five tribes pledged $25,000 each for gambling addiction programs. Because of the state of gambling in North Dakota, tribal casinos are the only legal establishments that offer gambling at this point, excluding the ND Lottery and charitable gaming by licensed non-profit organizations.
North Dakota Gambling Is Still Limited Overall
The state’s five tribes wanted to change that, and assume monopoly over its online gambling scene. Their proposal for online gambling was to have it extended beyond tribal grounds and be run on servers, located within reservations, where it has already been legalized. This type of solution isn’t new and has had limited success so far.
Some argue that this proposal would’ve served as a workaround for the current laws on iGaming and mobile sports betting in North Dakota. Governor Doug Burgum also said that a “clear legal path does not exist for the governor to grant such a broad expansion of gaming”, rejecting the proposal. As such, North Dakotans cannot participate in these forms of gambling outside of tribal grounds.
As it stands at the time of writing, a total of 33 states have sports betting legalized at least in some capacity, with only a handful being completely opposed to the notion of introducing it in the future. Multiple bills were signed this year alone, continually adding to the list. Neighboring South Dakota also has it, at least in some capacity, and some states are legalizing it simply to keep revenue within the state, while also providing better gambling harm help to citizens.